Check thru bags on BA from HAM - LAX (via LHR)

Old Nov 26, 03, 2:31 pm
  #1  
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Check thru bags on BA from HAM - LAX (via LHR)

I just got back from my trip to Europe (HAM and LHR) and ran into some problems with check thru bags on the return portion of my trip.

First of all, BA staff (in HAM) told me that they only allowed 1 bag (either purse, briefcase or other bag) per passenger as a carry on. The weight limit to the bag has to be no more than 6lbs.???? OMG...I believe I was already over 6lbs just with my laptop and charger.

BA ground staff in HAM told me that they couldn't check thru my bags to LAX (connecting in LHR thru AA137) because my flights were on 2 itineraries vs. 1. Instead, they told me that I have to get my bags in LHR (i.e. clear passport control and walk from T1 to T3 in LHR). Thankfully I had a 3 hr layover in LHR or else I would have missed my flight.

The reason the BA ground staff in HAM gave me was that if the bags got lost, then AA would blame BA and make BA pay for the lost bag. Alternatively BA felt that it may be AA's responsibility to it's customers and AA should pay for the lost bag. Apparently they have been experiencing lots of problems like this and now do not allow (against BA rules..??) their staff to do this? Is this true?? Has anyone had similar experiences?

As you can imagine, I was quite pissed at having to go thru passport control and wait for my bag (I waited like 40 mins for my bag) and then walk a hell of a long way to T3 from T1 at LHR.

When I got to the AA First Class counter to check in (I'm an AA PLT) I told this story to the AA staff there and she said that it was completely bull**** and BA could have checked my bags all the way thru to my final destination. In anycase, I inquired if I could get an upgraded from Y to C and she personally walked me over to the Ticketing counter (bypassing lines) and the nice guy at the ticketing counter upgraded me (using my mileage of course - only 10,000 miles from Y Class to C).

All in all, the upgrade was worth the walk from T1 to T3 but I found this a very big problem for connecting passengers that travel on BA from EU destinations to USA via LHR.

I flew 2 months ago from SNA - SJC - NRT - HKG on AA/CX and didn't have any problems checking my bags all the way thru from SNA - HKG. I was also able to check thru my bags from HKG - SNA on the way back.

Any comments from your experiences would be greatly appreciated. Also, a warning for USA bound AA passengers connecting from EU countries on BA via LHR....make sure you have enough time to connect in LHR or for sure you will miss your flight.

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Old Nov 26, 03, 2:46 pm
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It's an easy one - BA should thru-check your bag for you. If it's lost, your claim is with BA, as their tag is on the bag and the first flown segment was on BA.

I'll move this to the BA forum, as you may get more of a response. It's not even an AA issue anyway, so hopefully you'll get more feedback over in BA.

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Old Nov 26, 03, 3:26 pm
  #3  
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This does sound correct. I did read that BA were no longer prepared to interline bags on separate itineries. AA is correct in saying that they *could* do it and the BA rep sounds correct in saying that they wont do it because they don't feel that they should be held liable for baggage on a totally separate ticket that is nothing to do with them.

The carry on allowance is 1 piece no more than 6kg ( rather than 6lb .. perhaps you misunderstood them on that bit ) in weight rather than the "no more than 1 kitchen sink" allowance that AA offers

Dave
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Old Nov 26, 03, 6:14 pm
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Thanks 777 and Dave for your feedbacks. Unfortunately, they are both conflicting so hope someone else can confirm which is true. If Dave is correct, then it is really inconvenient for connecting passengers with BA European flights connecting on other airlines (incl. so called One World alliance partners) to other countries.

Thanks.

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Old Nov 26, 03, 6:20 pm
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"Thanks 777 and Dave for your feedbacks. Unfortunately, they are both conflicting so hope someone else can confirm which is true. If Dave is correct, then it is really inconvenient for connecting passengers with BA European flights connecting on other airlines (incl. so called One World alliance partners) to other countries."

There is no issue for passengers connecting to other flights. For connecting services, they will check your bags through , no problems. In your case you were not connecting, you were doing 2 discrete trips.

There has been some discussion on this forum about this which you may find if you search back

Dave


[This message has been edited by Dave Noble (edited Nov 26, 2003).]
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Old Nov 26, 03, 7:29 pm
  #6  
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Dave,

I don't know if you understood what I said.

Regardless of whether you have a connecting flight on the same PNR or not, I'm still connecting to another airline on the same day. I'm pretty sure almost every airline in the world would be able to check your bags straight through to your final destination even if you don't have all of the flights on the same PNR.

Remember, I did show the BA staff in HAM my connecting ticket and itinerary.

If you used your logic, then your telling me that if I was travelling on BA from EU country to LHR and then connecting on another BA flight (but on a separate ticket/PNR), that BA in HAM wouldn't check thru my bags to say HKG (on BA thru LHR?) as they would be 2 single tickets and not connecting??? I don't think so.

The worst part of this is that both AA and BA are part of the One World and is touting "seamless travel". I'm still at a loss as to why BA can't check thru my bags to my final destination when I was connecting in LHR to an AA (OW) flight.

Any help on this topic would be appreciated. Thanks.


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Old Nov 27, 03, 1:17 am
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"I don't know if you understood what I said."

I did, really , I did

"Regardless of whether you have a connecting flight on the same PNR or not, I'm still connecting to another airline on the same day."

Thing is, you technically are not connecting, you are doing 2 totally separate trips. The only element of connecting is in your view of it.


"I'm pretty sure almost every airline in the world would be able to check your bags straight through to your final destination even if you don't have all of the flights on the same PNR. "

BA *can* check the bags through. however they have made a business decision to not do so when you are travelling on a totally separate itinery. If they do check you through, then they become liable for luggage even if AA screw it up. With it being a ticket that is nothing to do with BA they have decided not to do so.


"Remember, I did show the BA staff in HAM my connecting ticket and itinerary."

Remember, it isnt actually a connecting ticket. It would only be a connection ( as far as technicalities go ) if you were travelling through on a single ticket. In this case you would have had no hassles at all.


"If you used your logic, then your telling me that if I was travelling on BA from EU country to LHR and then connecting on another BA flight (but on a separate ticket/PNR), that BA in HAM wouldn't check thru my bags to say HKG (on BA thru LHR?) as they would be 2 single tickets and not connecting??? I don't think so."

Ahh; their decision to not interline bags on separate tickets is quite different to online bag transfer. If you had been doing a BA-BA change , even on a separate ticket, they would likely have checked them through.


"The worst part of this is that both AA and BA are part of the One World and is touting "seamless travel". I'm still at a loss as to why BA can't check thru my bags to my final destination when I was connecting in LHR to an AA (OW) flight."

It is seamless travel for a single journey. You are creating 2 itineries and then asking the airline to treat it as a single itinery

Have a search through this forum; there has been things mentioned about this before. It is a great encouragement to book through tickets rather than separate itineries though

Dave
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Old Nov 27, 03, 6:12 am
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Just my two cents:

a) True connecting tickets are often (much) more expensive, particularly if you managed to get a special to LHR, but HAM was not on sale.

b) Interlining bags through LHR is not a preferred option if your luggage is dear to you. Yes, you would receive it eventually, but on one route (with a 3 hr connection) I have not received my bags more than half the time.

c) As was pointed out, if you have seperate tickets, interlining can be done, but it is at the discretion of the airline. So donīt be mad if they donīt do it.

d) Where I see the only problem, is that you are AA PLT - OW Sapphire. They should go an extra mile to make you happy. However, I would be really surprised if they still wouldnīt do it for an OW Emerald.
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Old Nov 27, 03, 2:40 pm
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This is really bad news for me. I am travelling in feb-march with three of my friends (who are not big travelers) to LHR and then onto CDG. We originally purchased our tickets just to London and then decided later to add Paris. So we called AA purchased separate tickets (which are on BA). On the way back we have a 2.5 hour connection time at LHR going from Terminals 4 to 3 on a Thursday morning. We were told by AA when we purchased our tickets that our bags would be checked all the way through in Paris by BA. But by the sound of this I guess we're gonna have tight connections.... oh well... we'll figure something out I guess.


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Old Nov 28, 03, 4:50 am
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BA should through check bags on "One World" carriers on separate PNR's (as long as within minimum connection times) but we are under strict instructions not to through check on to non-One World carriers if it is not on the same booking. Because the staff in HAM are employed by a Handling Agent, they've interpreted the rules differently (probably cos they don't recognise which carriers are in "One World" and which aren't!)

The principal reason was because of the smartars*s who use (for example) BA ABZ-LON and CO metal LON-IAH outside MCT's, but get booked because they buy separate tix. The pax can make the connection, but not the baggage and then BA bears the cost of missed baggage.

Like most things in life, the few who abuse the system have spoilt it for everyone else!
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Old Dec 2, 03, 1:02 am
  #11  
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Thanks for everyone's comments and advice.
Unfortunately for me, my company barters product for full fare "Y" tickets with AA so I can only fly on AA metal to Europe. If i want to go to another EU destination, I have to purchase a separate ticket. Maybe next time, I'll fly to FRA instead and purchase a LH ticket from FRA to HAM.

In fact, the bag was my friends (shhh don't tell the BA folks..) and she had a very tight 1hr 15 min connection to ORD then to DEN, so I ended up taking the bags with me to LAX and had to ship it to her in DEN.
We had no other choice...either leave the bag (not an option) or miss her flight if she had to collect her bags in LHR.

Oh well..c'est la vie.

I don't know why AA and CX don't have this problem with interlining bags in NRT. I guess that's for another board. Maybe cause I'm an AA PLT and also a CX Gold (both OW Sapphire).

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